The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/03/14 at 02:29 PM ET
Updated 5x at 4:11 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will embark upon their final "West Coast" swing of the season after today's practice, and tomorrow night's game against Dallas (8 PM EST, FSD, and yes, the start conflicts with HBO's final 24/7 episode's 10 PM start) kicks off almost two weeks' worth of games away from the Joe--with the WIngs' four-day break between the Dallas game and next Thursday's affair against San Jose (and then Los Angeles, Anaheim and...the Rangers?) extending the trip's length considerably.
With the Winter Classic having dropped the Wings behind the Leafs in the Atlantic Division standings, the team wants to straighten its still-listing ship, and as Paul noted and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose Tweeted, the Wings will have to kick off their five-game trip shorthanded:
The #RedWings have called up defenseman Alexey Marchenko. He will become the fifth rookie to make his NHL debut with Detroit this season.
In 33 AHL games, Alexey Marchenko has two goals, 16 points and plus-15 rating. He was CSKA Moscow teammate of @Datsyuk13 during NHL lockout.
MLive's Ansar Khan Tweeted the following during the Wings' practice...
Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser is out with a lower-body injury. It's a day-to-day, believed to be a groin.
Wings on ice for practice. Eaves is skating wearing shield for jaw. Marchenko is skating, wearing No. 47
Helm (groin) and Franzen (concussion) not practicing.
Datsyuk not skating today. Ken Holland said he isn't aware of any injury. Will find out from Babcock after practice.
Holland said Datsyuk is playing tomorrow.
Lines: Nyquist-Zetterberg-Alfredsson, Abdelkader-Samuelsson (holding Datsyuk's spot)-Bertuzzi, Miller-Andersson-Tatar (more)
Lines continued: Cleary-Glendening-Eaves. The way he's skating it looks like Eaves is playing tomorrow.
Marchenko is paired with Quincey, also Kronwall-Smith, Lashoff-Kindl
The Free Press's George Sipple attended practice...
Marchenko practicing, wearing No.47
Danny DeKeyser day-to-day with lower body injury.
As did the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
No Datsyuk here today but it might be a personal day. ..eaves skating today
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Marchenko is here at City Arena and will practice with team. DeKeyser is out with a groin injury.
Helm not on ice at City Arena for practice. #redwings
Franzen not practicing either.
Marchenko at his first practice with Wings. http://pic.twitter.com/D5Qlp3DiQv
Datsyuk not at practice. Per GM Ken Holland he'll be playing in Dallas on Saturday.
Eaves appears as if he's going to play Saturday in Dallas. Samuelsson holding Datsyuk's spot on line with Bertuzzi and Abdelkader.
Marchenko looks like he'll be paired with Quincey on blue line. Kronwall and Smith. Lashoff and Kindl are other pairs.
Eaves on the point on second PP unit with Kindl.
Who posted a video of Marchenko on the ice:
I'm just getting back on the horse after Wednesday's car accident, so pardon my tardiness!
Update #0.5: From Pleiness:
Eaves said he suffered a dislocated jaw. No concussion like symptoms at all. Says he's ready to play Saturday.
Update #0.75: Don't forget that tonight is "Anger Management Night" in Toledo:
Head Coach Nick Vitucci has done a lot to manage his anger since his 2011 meltdown (watch the video). See Nick's transformation for yourself and score a commemorative bobblehead on Anger Management Night - presented by ProMedica - Friday, January 3.
In addition to the Nick Vitucci bobblehead giveaway, there will be many other fun elements taking place on Anger Management Night. Bring your appetite and try out special food and beverage items - like Rage’n Cajun Chicken and Hot-Tempered Chocolate - available just for the occassion. ProMedica will be offering free Blood Pressure screens on the main concourse. There will be lots of special video clips played throughout the game, educating fans about anger management.
Call 419-725-9255 for tickets to the Friday, January 3 game or order online. Doors open at 6 p.m.; puck drops at 7:15 p.m. Nick Vitucci bobbleheads will be given out to the first 2,000 fans.
Update #0.8: From Pleiness:
Babcock says Datsyuk was given a maintenance day.
Updage #1: From Khan...
Eaves said he's good to go tomorrow in Dallas. Said he was hit flush in jaw by Lupul but no real damage and no concussion concerns.
DeKeyser not concerned about groin injury. Said he might skate tomorrow morning. Called it day to day.
Babcock said Datsyuk had maintenance day and will play tomorrow
Patrick Eaves (jaw) said he's feeling better, should play Saturday.
Danny DeKeyser confirms he has sore groin. Started feeling it in 2P.
Pleiness posted a video of Eaves speaking with the media:
The Detroit Red Wings begin a 5-game road trip Saturday night in Dallas where they will meet a tough Stars team.
The Red Wings (18-14-10) have been good on the road all season (12-4-3) and hope that trend continues as they visit the Stars, the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Ducks and the New York Rangers before returning to Detroit on Jan. 18 to host the Kings.
About the Red Wings (18-14-10, 46 points): The Winter Classic didn't have the outcome Detroit would have wanted as the Toronto Maple Leafs prevailed in a shootout, 3-2. However, the Wings gained another important point to keep them in a playoff spot.
The team remains riddled with key injuries. Jonathan Ericsson, Stephen Weiss, Johan Franzen and Darren Helm all are out of the lineup. Goalie Jimmy Howard (6 wins, 2.72 GAA, .907 SV%, 2 SO) returned for the Winter Classic and he likely will get the start Saturday night with Petr Mrazek on the bench.
Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg have returned from their injuries to offer the team much-needed depth on offense.
Update #2: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice report. Eaves is okay...
Eaves practiced Friday wearing a shield to protect his jaw. He is experiencing no concussion-like symptoms and is ready to play Saturday at Dallas (8 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
“Everything’s good to go now,” Eaves said. “It was pretty uncomfortable with my jaw being the way it was; my teeth weren’t lined up. I was pretty sore right away. But it’s back in the right spot and feels a lot better.”
And Datsyuk is okay, but DeKeyser isn't:
avel Datsyuk didn’t skate Friday due to what coach Mike Babcock said was a maintenance day. Babcock said Datsyuk should be ready to play Saturday.
Defenseman Danny DeKeyser didn’t skate Friday; he said he is day-to-day with a groin injury.
“I started feeling it during the game a little bit (Wednesday) and then just kind of played through it,” DeKeyser said.
Center Darren Helm (groin), forward Johan Franzen (concussion) and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (groin) did not practice Friday but will accompany the team on the four-game trip, which features a three-day stop in Phoenix between games in Dallas and San Jose.
Update #3: In ratings news, from the Globe and Mail's Simon Houpt:
On Friday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said 3.57-million viewers tuned in to the Toronto vs. Detroit game in Ann Arbor, Mich., which ended in a shootout win by the Maple Leafs. That is almost 90 per cent higher than the previous record of 1.91-million viewers, set during the Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game in 2011, which aired in prime time after poor weather forced the postponement of the afternoon-scheduled game.
his year’s Winter Classic was the first to include a Canadian team since the annual event was created in 2008. There was no game last year, due to the NHL lockout.
The Canadian ratings topped the 3.4-million viewers who tuned in to CBC for the final game of last year’s Chicago vs. Boston Stanley Cup Finals.
And the U.S. broadcast was a blockbuster too - at least in American terms - with 4.4-million viewers tuning in, making it the second most-watched regular season NHL game since 1975. “Today is yet another milestone in the NHL Winter Classic’s short but illustrious history,” said Jon Miller, president, programming, NBC Sports, in a statement.
Update #4: As noted by MoreShoot, here's Ted Kulfan's practice report. He talked to Marchenko...
Marchenko, 22, was a 2011 seventh-round draft pick who has 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 33 games in Grand Rapids this season. Marchenko (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) leads the Griffins with a plus-15 rating.
“For sure I’m excited,” said Marchenko, who speaks almost perfect English, having studied it since grade school back in Russia. “To be honest I didn’t expect it, but I’m glad to get a chance.”
European players usually have an adjustment period going from international ice to the smaller North American ice surface. It hasn’t affected Marchenko‘s actual style of play much.
“I can tell the game is more physical and quick,” said Marchenko, who has played professionally in Russian’s Kontinental Hockey League. “I have to be more quicker and made good decisions faster. It’s easier to come from the big rink to the small rink. The game is different, but during training camp I adjusted and once the regular season began, it didn’t take as much time (to adjust).”
Coach Mike Babcock paired Marchenko with Kyle Quincey at practice.
“I don’t know much about him, but he’s played in the KHL, he had a good training camp and every time I called (to Grand Rapids) they say he’s one of their best guys,” Babcock said. “If you do well down there, then you get to play up here.”
And here's another important note:
.Babcock wasn’t sure about the availability of Darren Helm (groin) or Jonas Gustavsson (groin).
Update #4: The Detroit Free Press's George Sipple focused on Eaves' status in his practice report:
“Everything’s good to go,” Eaves said after practice. “A little sore now. I’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
The Wings visit Dallas on Saturday, the first of a five consecutive games on the road. The fact that Eaves was able to talk was a good sign, considering what happened.
“Right in the jaw,” Eaves said of the check he absorbed from Lupul. “It was pretty uncomfortable with my jaw being the way it was; my teeth weren’t lined up. I was pretty sore right away. But it’s back in the right spot now and feels a lot better.”
Eaves missed more than a year with a concussion after fractured his jaw in Nov. 2011. He said Lupul got him on the same side of the jaw as the previous injury, but this time he had no concussion-like symptoms.
“My head was fine the whole time,” Eaves said. “I was clear and everything. It was just the jaw; I’ve been down that road before and was hoping I didn’t have to go down it again.”
Before the fine was announced, Eaves was asked if he wanted Lupul to be suspended.
“I don’t really care,” Eaves said. “That’s not up to me. That’s for the league to decide. It has no impact on our upcoming games. That’s all I’m worried about.”
Update #5: Here's DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose on Eaves:
“It was pretty uncomfortable with my jaw being the way it was, my teeth weren’t lined up,” said Eaves, who had the same jaw broken by a shot from Nashville’s Roman Josi on Nov. 26, 2011. “I was pretty sore right away. But it’s back in the right spot and feels a lot better.”
Eaves missed the rest of the 2011-12 season with post-concussion symptoms, and would have missed the beginning of the following season if not for the NHL lockout. His first game back was last Jan. 21 at Columbus.
Donning a protective shield attached to his helmet, Eaves practiced with the fourth line Friday afternoon at City Sports Arena before accompanying the team to Dallas where they begin a four-game road trip that will wind through San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim.
“I wanted to play more in the game because it was a huge game,” said Eaves of the Winter Classic. “(Lupul) made the decision to do what he did. Nothing I could do about it. I didn’t see it coming. I was just trying to get the puck out. It is what it is, it’s out of my hands. Now we just got to focus on our two points tomorrow.”
Lupul appeared to be upset went Wings defenseman Jakub Kindl knocked him to the ground as the two jostled for the puck along the boards in the Red Wings’ zone. As Eaves skated over to possess the puck, Lupul got back up and thrust his stick into the right side of Eaves’ head.
While most who witnessed the hit were concerned that Eaves might have suffered another concussion, he dismissed it.
“My head was fine the whole time,” Eaves said. “I was clear and everything. It was just the jaw. I’ve been down that road before and was hoping I didn’t have to go down it again.”
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